107th Yates Cup preview

107th_yates_logoI love this matchup. If there is one OUA school that Guelph still has something to prove against, it’s McMaster. In the past three years the Gryphons have proven they can play with and beat the OUA’s other elite programs, Western and Queen’s. Guelph owns a 3-0 record versus Western and 3-2 mark versus Queen’s. During that same period the Gryphons are only 1-3 against McMaster. A victory over the Marauders would also avenge their only loss of the season, the overtime loss at Mac on Labour Day. And the loss in the 105th Yates Cup back in 2012 as well.

Two years ago in the spring I attended Mac Football’s Fundraising Dinner. In his speech Head Coach Stefan Ptaszek spoke almost exclusively about Western and Laval as McMaster’s rivals. I think the past three seasons would have to have affected his thinking. It’s hard to imagine he could ignore Guelph now. But even if he did it certainly appears that Marauder and Gryphon fans treat this very much like a rivalry. I’m all in favour of that.

My Take: You may want to go back and re-read my Labour Day post to understand how I felt about that loss.

What can I say? It was very disappointing. This team just has to learn from it, then forget about it and move on.

I honestly don’t feel much better about this game [a 34-27 loss in OT] than the 50-9 loss on Labour Day two years ago. I guess that says something about the changed expectations around this program when going into OT with one of the OUA’s top tier teams feels like a serious failure. I recall feeling disappointed but still pretty positive after some close losses to Mac, Queen’s and Western in 2008 & 2009. This game was just disappointing.

Another observation from that post … our return game was below the standards that we’ve become used to at Guelph. I particularly recall on the punt return unit some players who clearly didn’t appear to know their assignments. Those things were fixed immediately and Gryphon return units shone for the rest of the year. I look for Guelph to win the special teams battle this time. I’m very happy [surprised even] to be entering this game knowing that in 2014 Daniel Ferraro has actually outplayed Mac’s CFL draft pick, 5th year punter/kicker.

O-Line opening holes for #32 Rob Farquharson Photo credit: Lou Toppan

O-Line opening holes for #32 Rob Farquharson
Photo credit: Lou Toppan

A few keys to watch … I look for Rob Farquharson to have a big game. I’m sure Mac will be focused on stopping him but they’ve never actually been able to do that. Farq averaged 6.8 & 6.6 ypc in the past two matchups while accumulating 262 yards. Another receiver, besides Fraser and Charette needs to step up. Lucas Spagnuolo and James Ingram have made some bug plays the past two games and that must continue.

On defense, watch #52 Cam Walker and what Mac is doing to try and stop him. If Guelph is going to dominate in this game the way I think they can then they will have to shutdown the Mac run game. That means you should hear the names of linebackers John Rush and Curtis Newton called frequently.

Recent History: Guelph enters the game with an eight game winning streak on the season. Their last loss was at Ron Joyce Stadium on Labour Day, a place where Guelph has never won since it opened in 2008. BTW the Gryphons’ last win in Hamilton was a playoff game. While Mac has 8-2 edge since 2007 all the games with the exception of 2011 & 2012, have been decided by one score or less.

2014 – Mac 34-27 OT
2013 – Guelph 24-22
2012 – Mac 30-13 [Yates Cup]
2012 – Mac 50-9
2011 – Mac 37-13
2010 – Mac 43-35
2009 – Mac 32-29
2008 – Mac 32-31
2007 – Guelph 25-21 [OUA quarterfinal]
2007 – Mac 37-36

Media Coverage: The game will be streamed on OUA.tv.
It will also be on local Cable 13 in Hamilton and available on some Rogers & Cogeco cable outlets in other parts of Ontario.
There should be a radio broadcast on 900 CHML.

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One Response to 107th Yates Cup preview

  1. Gryphfan says:

    It’s everything you want in a Yates Cup Game, Best vs Best, head to head this season was won in OT. Another area I believe Guelph has improved on after the first game of the year is on short yardage and goaline offense. Hoping for a Guelph win but Mac has shown this season is they can come from behind in the fourth quarter and win, so the Gryphs can’t let up.

    I can’t be at the game today so make sure we have enough cowbell at Ron Joyce.

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